For a long period, the development of children has focused mainly on physical development while ignoring the behavioral and social development. However, in the 20th century, this has changed. People have given more attention to the cognitive, physical growth, and language usage.
Theories of children’s development are essential since they give an insight that provides an ample understanding of the development of children from, not only cognitive and physical dimensions, but also their emotional and social perspectives. Among many theories of children development are the grand theories, which endeavor to provide a vivid explanation of the developmental aspects on stage-to-stage approach.
On the other hand, mini theories concern themselves with limited development aspects among them being social and cognitive growth. Therefore, as a psychologist, I dwell on scrutinizing Damian’s behavioral and social development, as profiled by these theories, revealing his possible personality issues and briefly recommending on how one can handle them.
Firstly, it is crucial to note that the development of children, right from birth, to the time at which he or she becomes an adult, is critical in defining what the child becomes in adulthood. Throughout all stages of development, the child’s behavioral and social development is immensely dependent on various interrelationships that the Child experiences.
For Damian, his mother’s deployment was critical in constructing Damian’s wrong perception of who his true mummy was. Consequently, the much significant child maternal attachment is widely non-evident. More often than not, as a child develops his or her cognitive abilities, he/she attempts to strike more attachment to those people who are close to him or her by virtue of nurturing his or her development.
It is not a wonder that Damian is more interested in helping out his father in his “manly” chores while neglecting his mummy partly perhaps because he had no experience of life with his mother. Arguably, during his cognitive development he never had his mother figure and personality.
This perhaps explains way Damian refused to participate in a certain class activities. For example, he recently refused to make a mother’s day card for his mom. The teacher noticed that when he draws a picture of or tells a story about his family, his mother is never included.
He could also go to the extent of throwing a tantrum unto his mother. His mother is, arguably, a stranger in his life, and hence he had no strong emotional attachment to his real mother.
Sigmund Freud theory stresses on the significance of the events that a child goes through in shaping his/her life, as well as the manner he or she perceives the environment within which he or she lives. His theory predominantly concentrates on the mental disorders, as opposed to normal functioning both in social and behavioral perspectives.
According to him, one can exclusively describe the development of the child in a series of stages. He lays out the stages as “oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital” (Cherry Para 3). Damian proved to have a chromosomal disorder, which resulted in his being born with ambiguous genitalia. Arguably, in his cognitive development process, this physical disorder made him possess low self-esteem.
Damian’s low self-esteem is evident because he makes remarkably little effort academically and regularly refuses to do his work or does it in a sloppy, rushed fashion. When asked why he did not do his work or did not do a better, more careful job, he usually replied with a statement along the line of ‘I am just no decent’. I can never do anything right.
Perhaps Damian provide a convincing example scenario for application of Sigmund theory in which he claims, “If a child does not successfully complete a stage, he or she would develop a fixation that would later influence adult personality and behavior” (Cherry Para 5).
From the information provided by the health professional and the Damian’s family, Damian evidently undergoes a tremendous process of dealing with conflicts within himself.
Erik Erikson came up with a theoretical developmental process that encompasses going through various stages in the lifetime. However, his theory took into consideration development stages through the entire life. Tantamount to what Damian appears to go through, Erik “believed that each stage of development was focused on overcoming a conflict” (Cherry Para 5).
Arguably, Damian undergoes an impeccable process of attempting to establish his self-identity. This is evident following the fact that, Damian struggles to come into terms with his real mother.
Despite staying with her mother once she came out of the military deployment, his parents report that the only behavior that occurs at home that they are truly concerned about is his frequent attempts to climb out on the roof, turn into a bat, and fly to Transylvania to see his grandmother.
At school, he perhaps disputes his real identity from other children especially bearing in mind that he had exceptional physical challenge: genital.
Consequently, perhaps in an attempt to come into terms with the condition, he was involved in battery with other kids, who perhaps he perceived as different from him. At home, however, undue behavior was widely not anticipated bearing in mind that he had established ample social life with especially his father and grandmother.
Cherry, Kendra. Child Development Theories: Major Theories of Child Development, 2009. Web. 17 Dec. 2011. <http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/childdevtheory.ht>.